“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I” Brings the Popular Book to Life

Last night, Thursday, Nov. 20th, was the first screening of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I,”  and you can bet your burnt loaf of bread that I was there. Based on the trilogy book series by Suzanne Collins, the movie pulled a “Twilight” and “Deathly Hallows” on us, and split the finale into two seperate movies. While filling a whole movie with only half a book can lead to a boring plot progression, I can now say with conviction that this was not the case for this film.

I promise that there will be no spoilers here, but from beginning to end, the movie was action-packed. If anyone predicted the movie to be too sappy or romantic, I would be surprised if they felt that way after seeing the film. Every few minutes or so there was another huge explosion, a riot, or some dramatic scene, contrary to the sickly sweet love story many are tired of seeing. That being said, the only downside as a result of all the action was that there was less dialogue than I would have liked.

On the flip side, for those who love the love, there is still plenty for you to enjoy. All the #TeamGale fans out there will be pleasantly surprised by how much screen time he had, and the scenes with him and Katniss are phenomenal. I am usually one to hate on the cheesy love scenes, but this film had the perfect balance of romance and reality to make the seemingly sappy scenes believable. Also, for the Finnick fans, there isn’t a ton of screen time for him, but the scenes where he does appear are so emotionally charged that the small amount of time is just enough.

I always say that the book is better than the movie by far, but one of the things that I loved about the movie adaptation was the fact that they showed other perspectives and events instead of just Katniss’ narration. While the movies are known for staying very similar to the books, the added bits were very intentional to enrich the movie, and to not do any harm to the book’s integrity. The scenes not seen by the main protagonist’s point of view added a deeper level of understanding to the movie’s plot, and made the movie more accessible to those of which have not read the books or seen the previous movies.

On the other hand however, for those who watch a movie to see how many things they hit or miss from the book, the little details taken straight from the pages were so fun to find throughout the film, so keep a close eye out.

It’s visually believable and compelling”

Lastly, I have to commend the art directors, set designers, costume designers, hair and makeup team, and the rest of the artistic staff. This dystopian land with so many different landscapes jumped off the page, and literally transformed on the screen. The costumes as usual were spectacular, and while, yes, there was a lack of shape-shifting dresses, the little things done in costuming such as Effie’s nail art and Haymitch’s beanie made all the difference. Furthermore, the way that the makeup transformed the characters was astounding. The gradual changes to morph actors into starving or tortured rebels from healthy citizens was amazing, and even the smallest age marks being added made a huge visual impact, making the film super visually believable and compelling.

Overall, as usual this movie did not disappoint…until the ending cut off! But of course you’ll have to see the movie to find out what I’m talking about. So go out, and buy your tickets to the beginning of the end, and “may the odds be ever in your favor.”